In most jurisdictions, a statutory rape occurs when there is unlawful intercourse engaged in with a person under the age of consent. The sexual activities involved can be consensual, and do not have to be against the under aged person’s will. The statute, in the particular state where the unlawful sexual activity occurs, defines the age of consent. In Michigan, the age of consent is 16 years old. In Michigan, and the other states, statutory rape is a crime of criminal sexual conduct.

In 2013, in the city of Tampa, Florida, a woman was arrested for having sexual relations with a teenager who was under the age of consent. Ciara Dupree, who is 24 years of age, was charged with engaging in sexual activities with a victim under the age of 18. The relationship between Dupree and the teenager, who was 15 at the time, lasted for about a year before the mother found out about the relationship and contacted the authorities. Dupree and the teenager had approximately 50-60 sexual meetings in Dupree’s home and vehicle throughout the course of the year relationship.

Also in 2013, a similar situation took place in Bayton, Texas, when Tamika Taylor was accused of having sexual relations with a 14 year-old boy over the course of 4 months. The boy’s mother reported their relationship to the authorities when she discovered text messages and explicit photos on the boy’s phone.

In both of these circumstances, the person accused is older than the complaining party, which is usual of these types of criminal sexual conduct cases. There are times, however, when the parties are both teenagers, or younger in age.

Whatever the make up of the parties engaging in the unlawful sexual activities, statutory rape is a serious offense of criminal sexual conduct. The law treats those accused of statutory rape the same as other cases of criminal sexual conduct including rape, molestation and sex abuse. The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, P.C. is experienced at providing defense for crimes of criminal sexual conduct. Every fact involved in these cases must be analyzed by an experienced team of attorneys and is important to providing the best defense for you. If you find yourself in a situation similar to the one discussed above, contact Smith Blythe, PC

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